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What is Statutory Rape?


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Definition: The most basic definition of child molestation involves unwanted sexual advances, harassment or sexual behavior with a child under age 18. Abuse of children is a terrible thing, of course. But there's a strange gray area when you're talking about a consensual sexual relationship between teens. What would be legally acceptable behavior between adults may suddenly be termed molestation or even statutory rape when one partner is under the age of consent, and the other is over 18. What's permissible in some states means jail time in others, and enforcement is unpredictable. And the age of consent varies considerably from state to state.

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